How AI Can Empower Retailers to Retain Employees and Capture New Customers in the Midst of an Economic Downturn
As the global economy faces uncertainty, retailers need to find a way to attract new customers, retain employees, and lower costs — a challenging recipe for many business leaders. Luckily, artificial intelligence tools have emerged as a powerful solution to help retailers stay ahead of the curve. From writing product recommendations, short-form copy and generating graphics, AI tools can even be the catalyst for personalized search recommendations. As the list of products coming to market is growing rapidly, we can expect this trend to continue in 2023, providing more opportunities and a higher competitive advantage for retailers and business leaders.
From leveraging ChatGPT to integrating generative AI into content workflows, AI is revolutionizing the way we engage, shop and collaborate online. So, how can smart brand owners leverage these tools to both scale their business and avoid layoffs in the face of economic uncertainty?
Retain Existing Customers Through a More Personalized Experience
According to a recent survey, 48 percent of businesses are embarrassed by their website despite spending an average of $453,126 on marketing technology. In a time of economic uncertainty, doing everything you can to understand your customer and retain their business is critical. This includes making sure they have a seamless UX on your site. The brands that manage to thrive during recessions are lean, agile and laser-focused on what their customer needs. Using AI technology can help you streamline this process. AI-powered chatbots, for example, can provide 24/7 customer service, answer questions for customers, resolve issues, and share personalized recommendations in real time. Personalized product recommendations and targeted marketing campaigns can also help retailers differentiate themselves from competitors and increase customer loyalty.
Integrating Generative AI Into Content Workflows for Retailers
Generative AI is powerful on its own, but the real value comes from using it less like a standalone tool and more like an integrated part of content creation. Digital agency collaborators and partners like those working with BMW, Siemens, and Bosch are embracing this perspective by using CMS tools that enable content creators to quickly insert images generated by DALL-E — all while they’re working on a web page without having to leave the CMS.
Make More Informed Pricing and Inventory Decisions
One of the primary ways that AI can support retailers is through the use of predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms. These technologies can help brands analyze troves of data to make informed decisions about pricing, inventory and marketing strategies. With a better understanding of the way target customers behave, retailers can tailor their offerings to identify new segments, helping to retain existing customers and strategically plan new product lines.
Streamline Operational Processes
Additionally, AI-powered tools can help retailers streamline and automate various operational processes, such as supply chain management, order fulfillment and customer service. This can free up employees to focus on more strategic tasks, allowing them to add more value to the organization and improve job satisfaction. In turn, this can help reduce employee turnover and increase employee engagement, which can be especially important during an economic downturn. AI is also effective for scheduling employees as it can help align work with individual employee preferences without affecting productivity. It can consider specific employee requests when automatically approving time off and leave requests. This gives employees greater flexibility to manage their time, increases their satisfaction, and ensures employee retention.
Looking Ahead: The Appeal of Retail and AI Collaborations
AI technology represents a massive opportunity for e-commerce business owners and merchants. Done well, retailers can use this technology to sustain the competitive edge they need to succeed in the midst of a looming recession. By harnessing the power of smart analytics, machine learning and generative AI, businesses can begin to strategize ways to retain employees, capture new customers, and provide a more personalized shopping experience. As the retail industry faces new challenges, AI will play a helpful role in empowering business owners to stay ahead of the curve and thrive during a time of uncertainty.
Barry D’Arcy is the vice president of partners at Storyblok, a headless content management system.
Related story: How Retailers Can Build Trusted, Responsible AI Initiatives
Experienced in all things SaaS with 10-plus years of experience in many facets of business operations. I'm passionate about building product and business synergies that transform into valued strategic partnerships.